NYC or else?


New Member
Hi all:

I have 2 questions.

Is it necessary to move to NYC for your quant career?
I'm an electrical engineer, currently working in the Bay Area. I have an MSEE and do circuits design. I have been spoiled by the California weather and am quite hesitant to brave the NY cold.

Do I really need an MFE? Would it be possible for me to get interviews with just my current credentials---I have 4 years of industrial experience. I would say that I've got the quantitative and C++ parts down; what I'm lacking is the finance education. Is it realistic for me to assume that I could teach myself finance? Or I could pick it up on the job?



Quant Headhunter
It is not necessary to move to NYC, but it is tough to get a role in the Bay Area.
Currently the ratio of candidates to the market is higher on the West Coast than anywhere else at all. For the avoidance of doubt that includes India.

An EE can get a job directly without an MFE, indeed there exists a small but useful subset of employers who would prefer this. 80% of the maths of quant finance are things you will have touched already, but to get a good job that "touching" will need quite deep. A MFE might do that, it depends on what you've done, and what you remember.

You can teach yourself QF, in some ways our Guide can be thought of as a syllabus as much as a primary text. The reading list is substantial, but a good EE can hack his way through given time. A MFE provides structure, tutorial advice and of course evidence that you have actually understood.
A variant on our reading list is up on Amazon "Reading List for a Job in Quantitative Finance"

We're going to update it soon, but it will get longer, not shorter...

Going directly into a bank or HF requires that your EE is directly applicable. Given they are such different domains it surprises some people that there is any overlap at all, so I have to set an expectation that your odds are not great.

Far and away the top skill required from EEs is signal processing. As HHs we get very happy when we find the right sort of EE SP since they enjoy the highest entry level pay of any type of quant, including not only MFEs but also finance PhDs.

Sadly we don't get that happy that often, since the SP EEs at this level aren't exactly common, hence the high price.
C++ is good, and there is a market for quant developers that you are probably 90% of the way to entering right now, but again your C++ has to be good. That must include STL, and we worry about people with no Boost.
I have a piece here that gives hints


New Member
Bay Area EEs

I have to agree with Dominic. Most firms (banks, HFs) are located in the places you'd expect: NYC, London, HK, etc.

the Bay Area is a much smaller market, though there is likely a few quant hedge funds out there. My contacts in CA are spartan, but I know that Calpers is looking for some quants, but that is not in the Bay Area.

And EEs can find work in financial services without a MFE, as long as their experience has facets that those firms would find interesting.


New Member
Thank you, DominiConnor and EricFleming. Looks like I might have to move to NYC from the Bay Area. Both places are so expensive to live!

I would have to make a decision pretty soon. I just hope that a quant job can't be outsourceable; as an EE, I know exactly what it is like.